By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, October 1st, 2012
Was it a normal sense of humor when Mohamed El Ouafa, Moroccan Minister of Education, made a mockery of teachers? Of course not! The sense of humor some of us witnessed in El Ouafa’s speeches may actually be one of hysteria, as in madness. With the endless disappointments in the attempted reform of our educational system, El Ouafa may have grown hysterically insane, not knowing what to say when interviewed or where to begin when faced with the most deplorable education system in the world.
Possibly, what he has in mind has already been said and discussed over and over again by previous education ministers before him. Our minister, therefore, is left with only one way to calm down Moroccans concerned about their education, which is to express himself crazily, consciously or unconsciously. His sense of humor may be a way of tricking Moroccans (especially teachers) into forgeting about the billions of dirhams that went with the wind upon the launch of the Emergency Plan.
“Moroccan schools are better than American ones,” said El Ouafa. No sane individual in the world could be convinced to swallow such a statement. America, the most powerful country, has always been near the lead when it comes to quality education. Our schools have never been reported to have surpassed American ones according to UNESCO, a universally-trusted organization which our minister distrusts. All this is, of course, perceived from a literal and simple undestanding of El Ouafa’s statement.
On the other hand, taking El Ouafa’s crazed sense of humor into account, we must pardon the Minister. When we are at a loss for words while trying to describe the unbearably shoddy quality of our schools, it’s possible to stumble and say that our schools are better than those of America, France, and England. When we fall prey to the sickness of such a sense of humor, we may, for instance, say that our witches cure illnesses which American doctors themselves can not or that our old maids cure eye problems which confound American opticians.
In reality, the Minister’s crazed sense of humor is normal in the presence of the worst, most corrupt education system on Earth. Don’t we laugh hysterically when we are engulfed by a predicament on all sides? Surely, we do. So, this is the case with our Minister of Education. Let us then have consideration for his crazed sense of humor.
“Teach students well even if they come to class hungry, ” added El Ouafa, addressing teachers. Once again, from the literal interpretation of his statements, we must say that El Ouafa is totally wrong. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which states that before using their mind to think and study, students must first fill up their belly, hungry students can not learn effectively. If we delve into the theory, we find that the mind is located at the top, while food is situated at the bottom. Students, therefore, find it impossible to use the top, their minds, without, the bottom, food. “I, myself, used to eat cactus fruit when poverty prevailed in our generation,” was the Minister’s response to a female teacher who complained about the arrival of hungry students to her class. It clearly appears that the Minister has no idea what Maslow’s theory is about.
Regarding El Ouafa’s crazed sense of humor, the Minister seizes every opportunity to put the blame on teachers. For him, when students do not grasp their lessons, it is because of their teachers, not because of their empty bellies. Again, when the Minister found himself in a dilemma, he laughed hysterically and added that he spent four years eating cactus fruit. Hearing about crowded classrooms and empty bellies, he appeared fatigued and instantly suggested that teachers must teach and teach and teach.
In any case, he has to say something, whether feasible or unsuitable, because his resort is his hysterical sense of humor to avoid losing face.
“UNESCO reports are not telling the truth about our education; any UNESCO committee coming to Morocco must be barred until they apologize for ranking Morocco last,” said El Ouafa. Understood literally, his statement is lacking in substance. Why does the whole world believe and trust UNESCO reports, while our minister does not? Is there any common sense here? Absolutely not! UNESCO, which bases its reports on statistics, logic, numbers, field visits, infrastructure and other forms of concrete proof, is simply a big lie for our Moroccan minister. His point of view is to be respected, but he hasn’t provided a single fact to prove UNESCO wrong. UNESCO has at its disposal a number of criteria by which it ranks Morocco last in education. Whether the Minister likes it or not, UNESCO has always told the bitter truth about our education system.
A case of sour grapes, a result of his crazed sense of humor, has compelled the Minister to look for anything on which to blame our deplorable education. Anyone diagnosed with a crazed sense of humor usually turns a blind eye to the bitter reality and goes on to find flimsy excuses to prove others wrong. And this is the case with our minister. Since we are not suffering from this kind of sickness, it is normal that we find the minister’s statements amiss.
Put differently, we do not see what he sees. He sees a mirage where we see reality. He sees a student’s hunger as a blessing, whereas we see it as a stumbling block. He sees UNESCO as a big lie, whereas we see it as a source of our bitter truth. He considers our schools better than American ones, while we see it the other way around. We need to have a hysterical sense of humor so that we can laugh with our minister about our deplorable education.
The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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